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Fontana? Wheatley?

Published by James O'Toole on .

Another day, another name -- or two or three.

 State Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, said he is considering joining the roster of candidates running for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Pittsburgh.  Mr. Fontana added, however, that he would defer to his colleague, state Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, if he were to press forward with a mayoral candidacy.  

After Mayor Ravenstahl upended local politics with his announcement Friday that he would not seek re-election, Mr. Ferlo had said that he is considering the race, but added that he would encourage other Democrats to look at the race.

Another Harrisburg lawmaker, Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District,  is also reportedly poised to circulate nominating petitions, a development that could be particularly noteworthy in that he could end up the only African-American hopeful in a multi-candidate field.  Some speculation has also identified City Councilman Ricky Burgess, another African-American office-holder, as a potential candidate, but Mr. Burgess has not made any visible moves toward a candidacy.  

Former Auditor General Jack Wagner, issued a statement over the weekend saying that he was considering a bid for the seat he sought unsuccessfully in 1993.  Mr. Wagner was reportedly planning to cut short a vacation in Israel in preparation for a primary campaign.  His niece, county Controller Chelsa Wagner said she was optimistic that he would run, but added that she was likely to run herself if he chose not to. City Council President Darlene Harris is also circulating nominating petitions for the primary, while Dan Onorato, the former county executive, ruled out a return to Grant Street.

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